This Is Why You’re Fat
Where Dreams Become Heart Attacks
Jessica Amason & Richard Blakeley
Foreword Joe Garden, features editor for The Onion Introduction Breakfasts of Champions Bacon Gone Wild Souped-up Sandwiches Big-time Burgers Acknowledgments Contributor Index Credits Copyright About the Publisher
I am not fat. Yes, I have cellulite. Yes, my thighs jiggle. Yes, I have love handles. But bytoday’s ample standards, I am not fat.
This is not for lack of trying.
I have fried banana bread in butter and eaten it. One trip to Ben & Jerry’s saw me get awaffle cone with three scoops of ice cream and, because it was there, a brownie on top of it.Bacon is not a breakfast side dish so much as it is breakfast, and I’ve been known to save thegrease to cook or bake with later. I’ve even improved on the low-calorie blandness of popcornby popping it in said grease. Thanks to a Price Club membership, my freezer is full of icecream bars, mini quiches, and meat. Lots and lots of meat.
This is all my right as a Wisconsin native, a state that once led the nation in obesity, buthas since fallen to an embarrassing number twenty-five. It is also my right as someone whoworked at the Illinois State Fair for twelve years and, while there, ate more fried and stick-based foods than anyone should consume in a lifetime.
thought I had seen it all.With this pedigree, you would think I had seen it all, foodwise. I
This Is Why You’re Fat quickly dissuaded me of that notion.
Day after day after day, Jessica and Richard posted new images of edibles that left greasemarks from inside the screen. Some of the items were simply novelty-size versions of existingsnacks, some were meat-and cheese-based, some were fried. All of them sent a shudder through mybody. All of them made me question the existence of God. At a certain point, I had to hold myhead in dismay and scream to an uncaring universe, “Why?!”
As a nation, we could have stopped at breakfast-sausage links wrapped in pancakes, aka pigs ina blanket, and been plenty satisfied. We had it all right there; a perfect vehicle fordelivering meat, salt, starches, and syrup to the mouth, along with the forbidden thrill ofFoodstuffs That Should Not Be Combined. But we kept right on going, and This Is Why You’re Fat
shows us the evidence, allowing us to wallow in the pornographic temptation without actuallyconsuming anything we’d regret in the morning and, for that matter, for the rest of our lives.
Like you’d ever be tempted. You have it under control. You have “ironic distance” from thischolesterol parade.
I dare you to gaze upon the Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger. I’d list the ingredients,except I already did. There’s not a component that makes up one of these caloric masterpiecesthat doesn’t glisten with sugar glaze or grease.
It’s revolting. It’s disgusting. As a savvy and sophisticated Internet user, you should beappalled by the thought that such a thing exists. You should laugh at the poor rube who wouldeven come up with such a thing, let alone follow through with the idea and serve it to anotherhuman being. For some reason, you don’t. On a second look at the picture, the cheese looksnearly perfectly melted. The bacon peeks out seductively from beneath the top of the donut. Howclever to use a donut instead of a bun!
Clever?! Where did that come from? Surely you don’t admire this sort of culinary behavior.Like Pete Townshend, you’re just looking at these pictures for research! Soon enough, you findyourself craving what’s in that picture. And just like any good pornography, you feel guiltyfor wanting it.
Try to get it out of your head. Sure, you’ll see things that are just plain revolting (for me,it’s anything with a fried egg on top), but you’re just as likely to land on something youfind just as appealing and, before you know it, you’ll be running out the door to the nearestconvenience store to gorge on anything spinning in a heated rack.
Before you start reading this book, go get yourself a sack of rice cakes and a bottle ofseltzer. You’ll stave off any hunger pangs you experience and feel better about yourself forpretending to enjoy such a sensible, low-calorie snack.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to run about seven hundred miles.
The Onion Features Editor
Food was once the providence of celebrated chefs and critical connoisseurs. Cooking showsfeatured all gourmet creations and websites displayed artfully photographed delights.
Then something changed.
Perhaps it was the desensitizing of Web culture or perhaps it was a cry for help from the food-loving public. But by God—there came a day when fancy vegetable towers came crashing down andfifty-dollar mushrooms were no longer acceptable. We wanted to see the old standbys, thecarnival foods of our childhoods: the sticky mess of a deep-fried candy bar, the indulgence ofa greasy burger with all the fixin’s. And the bacon! Oh, the bacon!
It was the birth of the nasty-food Web trend. And it was delicious.
is an ode to this trend—whether seen as a commentary on North AmericanThis Is Why You’re Fat
dietary habits or a celebration of the deliciously bad—we’re devoted to the world’sobsession with over-the-top food.
If you’re wondering whether This Is Why You’re Fat functions as a warning or a menu, we like
to think of it as a finger-wagging and high five in one.
The point is simple: This Is Why You’re Fat is where gusto meets gastronomy. The world cooked,we blogged.
Jessica AmasonMarch 2009
Corn Dog Pizza
Recipe by Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark
1 bottle vanilla vodka
1 large McDonald’s chocolate milk shake
1 container McDonald’s barbecue sauce
2 Chicken McNuggets
Mix 3 to 4 shots of vanilla vodka in the McDonald’s chocolate milk shake. Rim each martiniglass with McDonald’s barbecue sauce and pour the milk shake and vodka mixture into the glass.Garnish each with one McNugget.
Pieces of pork fat, meat, and skin, twice deep-fried.
Bayou Boudin & Cracklin’ Breaux Bridge, LA